Even with an economy that is steadily recovering from the recession, there is still a lot of competition in the job market. Therefore, it is essential to create a resume that is better than the rest. A new study by CareerBuilder sheds light on the best resume words job seekers can use, and the words that should be avoided. Find out more to fill your resume with words that attract the attention of employers.
The CareerBuilder survey analyzes the responses of 2,200 hiring managers and human resource professionals to come up with the worst and best resume words. The study indicates that employers want to see words that describe actions rather than lists of attributes. Of the employers surveyed, 52 percent reported that the word ''achieved'' is the most desirable word on a resume. The word "improved" is the second most desirable word according to 48 percent of employers and "trained" is ranked third. The remaining top 10 most valuable words for a resume according to employers are: "managed," "created," "resolved," "volunteered," "influenced," "decreased/increased" and "ideas."
Although using the best resume words is a great way to improve your job search, the way you use these words also matters. Studies have repeatedly shown that quantifying skills and abilities is essential for landing an interview. While you are updating your resume with words like "managed" and "increased," explain how many employees you managed and how much you increased sales.
Along with using the best resume words, make sure you also avoid using words and phrases that employers do not like to read. The same CareerBuilder survey formulated the top 10 worst resume words. Coming in at number one was "best of breed," a phrase 38 percent of employers considered a turn-off. "Go-getter," "think outside the box," "synergy" and "go-to person" rounded out the top five. "Thought leadership," "value add," "results-driven," "team player" and "bottom line" also made the list of top 10 worst resume words and phrases.
This study reflects the importance of describing what you can do rather than what you are when writing a resume. In addition to listing the worst and best resume words, the study looked at how long the employers surveyed spent looking at each resume. An astonishing 17 percent of employers -or one in six employers - reported spending only 30 seconds scanning a resume. Another 68 percent reported spending a mere two minutes on a resume. Clearly, job seekers have to impress employers with their resumes, and they must do it quickly. If your resume lacks important key words, or includes the words and phrases employers consider a turn-off, your resume will likely be the one that gets only 30 seconds of attention.
The right words can make all the difference in your job search. In addition to using the best resume words and avoiding the words employers consider a turn off, pay attention to how you format your resume. Make your information easy to scan and make the best resume words stand out.
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